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Aruba’s Western Wetlands Project: A Milestone in Conservation and Tourism Development

Aruba’s Western Wetlands Project: A Milestone in Conservation and Tourism Development

On February 21st, during a press conference, the Minister of Nature, Mr. Ursell Arends, and the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Dangui Oduber, along with the Aruba National Park Foundation (FPNA) and Wageningen University Research (WUR), launched the first step of the Western Wetlands project, financed by the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF).

In 2020, a system of five significant salt pans was brought under the active conservation management of the Aruba National Park Foundation. This consisted of four salt pans and another one that was converted into a permanent freshwater pond, now known as Bubaliplas. Bubaliplas is now part of the wastewater treatment plant at RWZI Bubali.

There was a time when these five salt pans were connected to each other; however, this connection was drastically reduced and separated due to human development through road construction and built environments, which prepare an area for human activity to satisfy the desires and needs of the citizens.

To address this, in 2022, Minister Arends, with the support and approval of the Council of Ministers, established a technical steering group to develop a corresponding action plan for the Western Wetlands project.

The commission, led by a representative of the Ministry of Nature, along with FPNA, Aruba Birdlife Conservation, DOW, and architect Antoine Bowers, was tasked with developing a plan to realize the Western Wetlands project.

The overall purpose of the Western Wetlands project is to safeguard the protected salt pans and the marine environment nearby, which will be achieved through prudent visitor management and protection of the salt pans. This includes protecting, conserving, and enhancing the integrity, health, and resilience of the biodiversity and ecosystem of the salt pans, thereby increasing the value of Aruba’s tourist product through sustainable nature experiences.

The Western Wetlands will be developed in three phases, with the first phase being the basic evaluation financed by TPEF. Minister Arends expresses gratitude to the TPEF steering committee and colleague Minister Oduber for believing in the project. Thanks also go to the Aruba National Park Foundation and Wageningen University for making this research possible.

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One Response

  1. So in the 3rd Line of this Press conference it already states that by cause of Human Development..Humans made a mess out of it so the salt pans were no longer connected? By Human over building? The RWZI will collapse this year probably ( the one next to the Bubali Plas) ? Funny…in 1988 Aruba was warned for the RWZI that it can only hold 4.500 M3 ….so be careful for ….if by any chance Aruba gets more tourists…1988 But again warned for Over Tourism in 1994 1996 2002.( see verdict Amsterdam Manor) and so on and so on…This whole RWZI is about to burst!!! The smell the concrete cannot hold the Tourists and the Chemicals they put in the RWZI…..it f..ks up the concrete. but? Who cares.? D.Oduber…so proud saying that Aruba had 2.1 million tourists in 2023…Waauw!! But D.O. Do you think about the Poo and the Pee it brings to the sewage pond? We all know you open up the Sewage at night and spill the Pee and Poo into Eagle beach at night. Brrrr.!! Disgusting. Come clear and say we fucked it up!! You guys are destroying Aruba! Day by Day!

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